Just in case we weren't sure of our location, this friendly corn snake showed up early Friday morning to remind us that we were, indeed, in the woods and in the mountains.
Friday we went to Dollywood. It was fun to go as a family and spend the day together. I had not been there with Malachi and Isabella since 2007. Malachi (my nephew) is a ride-loving man while his big sis, Isabella, is a little more.... hesitant.
Dexter and Theo love this ride, the Rockin' Roadway. They really think they're doing something when they're behind the wheel of these cute vintage cars. The first time we went to Dollywood, there was definitely an adjustment curve for Theo, who does not necessarily agree with the policy that you do not get to choose the color of your antique car. Or your train car. Or the color of the hat on your Lucky Ducky. Or. Or. Or.
Penelope's first trip to Dollywood!
For some crazy reason, we decided to ride the River Rampage around 4 or 5pm. Of course I brought a change of clothes for the boys but not so much for myself. It was completely worth it to see Theo laughing hysterically every time one of us got soaked. To add insult to injury, however, it started pouring rain about 3 seconds into the ride. We hung out in this 50s diner to wait for the rain to let up. It never did, they shut down all the big rides, and that was the end of our day at Dollywood.
Saturday's forecast gave me the blues, but we quickly came up with an alternate plan for something to see and do. We went to Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo.
A rare snuggly moment caught on film while we were getting ready to leave.
Can you see the excitement on Theo's face (and in Dexter's hands)?
This kid can sleep through anything.
Waiting for the show with Uncle Steve.
Malachi has such a sweet, nurturing spirit. He is so kind to the boys and has the desire to hug them and hold them all the time. Even now, despite the fact that they are getting a little hard to hold.
Theo has no fear. He would have taken this huge snake home with us if we'd let him.
Dexter on the other hand... (or maybe his dad)... a little apprehensive.
Afterwards, we ate at the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant. It's beautiful, but I neglected to get any photos of the exterior since it was raining. We waddled out to the car after eating too much and headed back to the cabin. The rain stopped long enough for us to go on a walk down the quiet gravel road.
It's safe to say that some of the boys' favorite moments (and some of my favorite memories) of the trip happened on that walk, when we said "sure, go ahead and jump in those mud puddles." Why not?
We got their wet, muddy clothes off and hopped in the hot tub, which they absolutely loved!
Baths, dinner, bed, and these boys didn't last 5 minutes after the lights went out!
Sunday we had to check out by 10 so we got up, packed up, loaded up, and moved out.
Backpack on. Kanky Blanky & Bun-Bun in hand. Ready to go.
All in all, the weather stunk. Regardless, we still had such a fun time (and p.s. I highly recommend the Mountain Music cabin despite our slithering visitor). Already missing my people and anxious to see them all again.